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Old 01-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #1
momof2cutegirls
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Best To Book Direct Or With Travel Agent?

Just wondering if you all book directly with DCL site or do you use a travel agent, say AAA? Have always booked my vacations myself, but new to cruising and wondering what may be best.
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Old 01-12-2011, 11:56 AM   #2
mammacaryn
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We have done both (our travel agent is AAA).

The only benefit to using an agent is if they offer any extra perks....preferred customer discounts, OBC's etc. as far as $$ goes.

DCL prices will be the same regardless. Any offers that DCL has your agent will have access to as well, its the extra "deals" you would be looking for.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
momof2cutegirls
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Good to know...Thanks! Lots to learn about DCL!
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:10 PM   #4
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As above, the price of the cruise is fixed. The difference is the service and any perks (like an onboard credit or "thanks for booking" gift) that your TA might provide.

I do realize that each AAA office is different; I spoke with my local office once and quickly realized that I knew way more than the "agent." All she could do was read her computer screen and she knew nothing about DCL!

I use an agent who has sailed on the ships, done Disney training for TAs, has evening and weekend hours, has an 800 number for me to use even before booking with them, an emergency number "just in case" while traveling, etc.

I've booked on my own and thru the agent/agency. Frankly, it's worth having someone else look out for my interests--not that I don't track things myself, but two heads are better....and they have been very useful with things like international air, insurance, etc. They computer track all their ressies so that if a rate is decreased or a special announced that I am qualified for, they will nail it for me. And when DCL charges me twice for transfers, it's nice to have someone in MY corner to get the refund!
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Travel agent! And here's why...

Currently the DCL website is down and they are not taking phone reservations for excursions or Palo. My TA called, spoke to a supervisor and booked all of my excursions and dinner at Palo.

Also, I went with Disney air, b/c I like that if there are any delays, it is their responsibility to get you to the boat. I declined to pay the extra $50 per person to hand select my flights, taking the risk that I'd have a connecting flight. Sure enough, when they first scheduled me, I was leaving at 6am to go to Orlando and I had to fly through Atlanta. My TA called and was able to get them to switch me to a non-stop flight for free.

I think my travel agent is worth her weight in gold, and I am so glad I used her to book my trip.
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mammacaryn View Post

The only benefit to using an agent is if they offer any extra perks....preferred customer discounts, OBC's etc. as far as $$ goes.
For many of us "only" is almost everything.

We tell our Travel Agent where we want to go and when, and write the check. She does everything else. Flights, hotel, transfers, dinner seating, excursions. The travel documents go to her first, and she goes through them and verifies everything is as booked.

I get the larger OBC, and all these services for free.
I know some folks they feel like they lose control of their vacation. I still control everything, I just don't have to do the work or spend my time on hold waiting to make a change.
And Travel Agents are up on the latest rates at hotels, rental car companies, and air fares. Disney only keeps up with the companies they do business with on a regular basis.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:28 AM   #7
mammacaryn
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I was waiting for someone to point out my use of the word ONLY.....


I am TOTALLY in favor of Travel agents over booking yourself when it comes to cruises.

I meant only, ONLY in terms of the cost of the cruise.
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